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Good Morning from Grandfather

Good morning from Grandfather Mountain!

Grandfather Mountain Sunrise

I was wide awake at 6 a.m. (I think because I usually teach at 6 on Tuesday mornings) so I decided to get up so that I could watch the sunrise.

Grandfather Mountain NC

We got here on Sunday night and brought both girls along. One of our clients/friends has a beautiful condo that’s she’s letting us use for the week. It’s right on the lake with stunning views of Grandfather Mountain. To say we feel grateful to be here is an understatement.

Grandfather Mountain Panoramic

While I’ve taken a couple trips this summer to visit my family and to go to the beach with my friend Dorie, Tanner hasn’t had time off since our retreat back in February. He literally hasn’t left the city of Charlotte and has been working seven days a week. Owning a small business is no joke and I am so proud of him for everything that he does. But this break is needed!


I made a Trader Joe’s run before we left and stocked us up with groceries for the week and then yesterday we popped into a local grocery to pick up a few other “fun” things including ginger beer for Moscow Mules, Highland Oktoberfest, sandwich stuff to pack for hikes (and some pickles!), FROG jam (Fig-Raspberry-Orange-Ginger), cardamom chia cashew butter (<– impulse buy) and a few other things.


Monday’s adventures included an outdoor lunch at a cute little place called Kaye’s KitchenΒ in Newland, NC. The girls got lots of pats and attention.

Italian Cream Cake

And we got a free slice of cake from the staff because of a kitchen snafu. This was homemade Italian cream cake and perfect for pre-hike carb loading. πŸ˜‰

Linville Falls

After lunch we took off for Linville Falls where we hiked to an upper and lower view of the falls. This is one of the most popular waterfalls in North Carolina but luckily the trails weren’t very crowded since we were there on a Monday and I think family vacation travel is winding down with kids heading back to school.

Linville Falls

We let the girls wade in the water at the bottom view and they appreciated the chance to cool off. Keep reading because a couple hours later Zoey got to swim for the first time!

Linville Falls Hike

This was a special hike for me because it was Sullie’s first big outing since her surgery and she did so well. We ended up letting both girls off-leash because there was a lot of rough terrain and rock climbing on the trail we took and Sullie tackled it like a champ! We kept our hike a little under 3 miles because we didn’t want to push her too far but she still had some energy to spare for swimming when we got back.

Golden Retrievers Swim

The girls were pretty muddy and dirty from our hike so Tanner got in the lake with them when we got home. It was Zoey’s first time swimming and she picked it up quickly. Throwing a ball in the water helped and before we knew it she was diving off the rock and into the water.

I made a video! (Of course I made a video… #crazydogmom) πŸ™‚

Grandfather Mountain Club Lake

They swam for a good 30 minutes or so.


Sullie was a little fish and stayed in the water the whole time.


I caught her mid-shake getting out.


And then she always rolls around for a while. So funny to watch.


It made my heart so happy to see Sullie having so much fun and being playful.


We’re off for more adventures today! I’ll be back to share them later.

Mountains or beach?Β 

What’s your favorite thing to do in the mountains?Β 

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • April August 16, 2016, 8:38 am

    What a great getaway! I look forward to hearing about your adventures. The hubby and I are on vacation next week (with no plans!) so I am on the lookout for close day-trip adventures. And, thanks for the video! I LOVED watching her first swim! πŸ™‚

    • Jen DeCurtins August 16, 2016, 9:03 pm

      Thanks April! This is a needed getaway and such a special place. We are soaking up every second! πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed the video. It made me smile!

  • Julie Running in a Skirt August 16, 2016, 8:45 am

    Super lame, but I’ve lived in Asheville for nearly 13 years now and haven’t done that Linville hike. It’s always on my short list, but just hasn’t made it’s way to getting checked off yet. Maybe in the next few weeks!
    I’d say beach for vacation… but just because I live in the mountains (and love it!) πŸ™‚

    • Jen DeCurtins August 16, 2016, 9:03 pm

      Definitely head over and check out the falls. Easy hike and so scenic off the Parkway. We did the Profile Trail on Grandfather today up to Calloway Peak and it was awesome! And haha, your vacation choice makes total sense. You’re lucky to have these beautiful WNC mountains as your every day!

  • Amanda August 16, 2016, 9:14 am

    100% mountains for me! I love to hike and enjoy the nature around me. Grandfather mountain looks absolutely beautiful! And I didn’t know Highland had their Oktoberfest out already πŸ‘πŸ»

    • Jen DeCurtins August 16, 2016, 9:01 pm

      Yes, seems like the Oktoberfest beers start earlier and earlier every year!

  • Meagan August 16, 2016, 9:35 am

    That’s a beautiful area!

    I could go either way with mountains or beach. I love hiking and camping and being in the mountains, but I grew up near the beach and have a deep love for the tropical setting as well. I don’t think I could really do without either.

    • Jen DeCurtins August 16, 2016, 9:01 pm

      Agreed. Both offer this deep but really different sense of peace and quiet.

  • Sarah August 16, 2016, 10:43 am

    Wow, that view is breathtaking! I love both the mountains and beach, so finding somewhere that offers both is my secret solution. We just got back from Vancouver, and it was amazing – mountains and water! Enjoy the rest of your trip, Jen.

    • Jen DeCurtins August 16, 2016, 8:59 pm

      I would LOVE to visit Vancouver!

  • Rebecca August 16, 2016, 11:16 am

    Haha, I love the video of the dogs swimming! Zoey seems very uncertain about it at first. We still haven’t convinced our dog to swim, but she stays close by when we’re in the pool!

    Ooh, tough choice! I would probably choose the beach, it seems like that’s what we end up choosing for most of our vacations. But a mountain getaway is nice sometimes, too.

    • Jen DeCurtins August 16, 2016, 8:59 pm

      I think I’d choose the beach too but this mountain trip has been one of our best ever.

  • Claire August 16, 2016, 7:34 pm

    I seriously LOVE the video! I smiled the whole way through it! Goldens are the best.

    hmmm. Are mountains AND beach allowed?? Especially a lakeside-beach. Freshwater > seawater anyday

    • Jen DeCurtins August 16, 2016, 8:58 pm

      Aw, yay! Glad you enjoyed. Yes, I suppose that hybrid sounds pretty AMAZING! πŸ™‚

  • Dani August 16, 2016, 10:27 pm

    hahhah I watched that whole video with Zoey swimming. I love dogs!

  • Lisa August 17, 2016, 12:02 pm

    The video is one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. πŸ˜€

  • Laura August 18, 2016, 1:53 pm

    Oh, the cuteness! So lovely to see the girls enjoying the water!

    I live surrounded by mountains, so whilst I enjoy them it’s always nice for me to get away somewhere coastal. The last holiday I went on was to Snowdonia, so more mountains, but very different (more impressive and rugged) ones. I loved it! My next holiday will be a beachy one, though.

  • James August 21, 2016, 2:02 pm

    I do prefer the beach but your trip to the mountains looks amazing! Glad you had a great time. My favorite thing to do in the mountains is probably watching the sunrise πŸ™‚

  • erin August 22, 2016, 9:38 pm

    Oh my gosh – I loved the video & the music with it!!! SO SO cute!!

    • Jen DeCurtins August 25, 2016, 3:45 pm

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

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